What is a CNA?

CNA = Certified Nursing Assistant

A Nursing Assistant is also known as a personal care worker, geriatric care, paramedic, or nurse. The title is often dependent on local institutional and governmental policies.

Nursing assistants generally provides routine tasks under the supervision of nurses and doctors. They are normally the person who has front-line interaction with the patients:

  • answer a patient’s call
  • meals
  • making beds,
  • help patients eat, dress
  • often carry out basic test (temperature, pulse, respiratory rate and blood pressure)
  • escort patients to operating or examining rooms
  • responsible for medical equipment, stores and supplies
  • monitor the patient’s physical, mental or emotional conditions and report any changes in care or medical personnel.

Job Prospects

Job prospects for nursing assistants are excellent: According to the US Department of Labor, overall employment of nursing assistants, and related activities “… is expected to grow significantly faster than the average for all occupations for the year 2014.”

Rates of Pay

In the U.S., the average hourly wage for nursing assistants, nursing assistants, nurses and assistants were $ 10.09 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $ 8.59 and $ 12.09 per hour. Lowest 10 percent earned less than $ 7.31, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $ 14.02 per hour.

Specialist areas

CNAs can often choose to work with a specialist group of patients, such as home helpers for elderly, disabled, mentally ill and disabled people living in their own homes or in institutions, rather than in health care facilities.

More personal and home care assistants to work with elderly or physically or mentally disabled people who require more extensive and personal home care to family or friends can provide. Sometimes, a CNA will work with families where a parent is not able to care for their children and needs help.

Vocational training for nurses and assistants varies greatly. Many are trained for jobs, while others may be school-based or alternatively online (distance-learning) classes.


Nursing assistants often play an important role in providing basic care while ensuring the safety and comfort for patients. If the idea of making a positive difference in the lives of others while enjoying above-average wages, benefits and job security appeals to you, a career as a nursing assistant might be the fulfilling job you’ve been looking for!

Filed in: Careers

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